Archive for December, 2012

Marvelous New Year Goals

Happy New Years Eve!

There hasn’t been much going on around here the past few days, but that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been MARVELOUS!

I’ve been soaking up all my free time and just being lazy. This past Friday and Saturday I slept until 9:45. It was AMAZING.

I haven’t cooked a meal (besides breakfast) in 18 days and wont be cooking tomorrow either. It’s sad but at the same time kind of awesome. It’s going to be hard getting back to my normal routine!

Workouts haven’t been as high on my list of things to do either. I did manage to get a 4 mile run in on Saturday, but it wasn’t pretty.

Photo 3

The reason for my slow run? Well, at mile 0.5 this happened.

Photo 1

Yep, I fell. Hard. I don’t even know what happened? I was running and then all of a sudden I was rolling, yes rolling, on the concrete. It hurt, but not as much as it embarrassed me. Thank goodness there was no one around to laugh/point/honk/throw garbage at me and make me even more embarrassed. So after I walked a little bit, I finished out the rest of the 4 miles. I didn’t realize until after my run that my clothes were sticking to my elbow and knee. Ugh. The blood had soaked through, and I could see little dark spots on my shirt and pants. Thankfully the stains came out!

Chad and I did a little shopping later that day and had Chinese for dinner. I usually never care about the fortunes and certainly don’t post pictures of them, but I thought this one was a really good one.

Photo 4


I loved this, especially with 2013 right around the corner. It reminded me that I can think about the things I want to accomplish all I want, but nothing will happen until I do something about it!

This inspired me to set a few goals for myself for the upcoming year. Some of these are things that I know I’ll do eventually, but others are things that I think about, but never really consider taking action on them. I’m committing myself to these goals and committing to actually doing something to make them happen! I don’t want these to be just dreams anymore.

2013 Dreams GOALS!

1. Read my bible daily. It’s something I don’t like to admit, but I’m not perfect, and I don’t read my bible every day. How can I have a deep personal relationship with God if I don’t read His word and talk to Him daily? This is something that I need to take immediate action on!

2. Save money. Chad is probably rolling his eyes right now. He knows that I’m terrible at saving money. But we’ve got big plans for 2013, and we can’t do it without money. So I’m going to have to sit down and come up with a plan of action for saving money every month.

3. Find joy in every day. First let me say that I absolutely love my job and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, but I sometimes find myself living for the weekends (or for breaks like this one). Then the weekend is over so quickly and I’m back to just getting through the weekdays. I’m not unhappy, but I look forward to the weekend so much that it makes the regular week not as enjoyable. I want to find ways to love every minute of every day!

I wouldn’t really call these goals my “New Years Resolutions,” because I never keep my resolutions. 😉 I plan on making sure I do something to take action on these goals!


Tonight we’re having some friends over tonight to ring in the new year! With these goals in mind, I’m more than ready to make 2013 MARVELOUS! 🙂


December 31, 2012 at 6:06 pm 3 comments

Christmas Fun!

Hello! I definitely didn’t mean to take this long of a break from blogging, but it’s the holidays so family gatherings have been nonstop! I’m not doing any full recaps of all the different things that have been going on, but I’ll fill you in on a little bit of what I’ve done the past five days.


Saturday I made sure to go to the gym and get in a nice sweat on the treadmill. I did about 30 minutes of sprinting intervals. Afterwards we had a Christmas lunch at my in-laws’ house. It was nice to have the whole family together! After lunch, Chad and I rode with my parents to my aunt’s house to celebrate my cousin’s 6th birthday. We ended up playing a lot of Dance Central 3, which ended with me feeling super gross in my sweaty long-sleeved shirt and jeans. Bleh. At least it was a workout. haha!


Sunday was another fun day that started out with a morning at church. Then we had some friends over for a little “Friendmas” celebration that lasted well late the night. There were snacks, games, pizza, more games, and a really stupid movie ended the night.


Monday I went to the gym to run and do a quick leg workout.

Photo 2

Then I came home to start cooking for the Christmas lunch we were hosting at our house for my father in-law and brother in-law and his family. We ate and sat around talking while my nephew Grayson played the piano and the recorder with Chad.


Hope his dad isn’t too mad at us for letting him keep the recorder. 😉

Later that night we had a special Christmas Eve service at church complete with special “all in one” communion cups.

Photo 5

Also, my dad was a wise man.

Photo 4

He’s the middle wise man in blue. We could not stop cracking up! 😉

After the service, we went with another family to eat Chinese which has become one of my very favorite Christmas Eve traditions.

Photo 9

Photo 8

Photo 1

A fun night indeed. 🙂


Christmas morning, Chad let me open my present. He actually picked out some stuff earlier in the month that he wanted for Christmas, so he didn’t have anything to open which was fine by him. I wasn’t expecting much since we don’t do big Christmas presents anymore, but I loved what he gave me!

Photo 13

The life proof case for my iPhone! I’m ready to take some underwater pictures now! lol

We spent the early morning at my parents’ house opening presents and taking pictures with our pups.

Photo 10

Then we went to my aunt’s to celebrate with my dad’s side of the family. I talked about our Christmas tradition once before, and now here’s the proof!

Photo 6

Later that afternoon, we went to my granddad’s house to celebrate with my mom’s side of the family. We ate, opened presents, and had our usual cousins photo shoot.

Photo 12

It was definitely a wonderful Christmas. 🙂


The next day, I tried to get back to normal with a good breakfast.

Photo 15

We spent the morning shopping and found some really great deals. (50% at GAP!!) Then we had a movie date!

Photo 16

This movie y’all…. There were so many tears. GO SEE IT.


This morning I made my return to the gym and knocked out 3 miles of sprinting intervals. I literally had sweat in my eyeballs.

Photo 14

I had been doing pretty good at getting back to my normal eating habits. I had oatmeal for breakfast, a veggie burger for lunch, and then I ruined everything by going to my parents’ and eating 3 cookies and a handful of Mom’s famous snack mix leftover from Christmas celebrations. Well, I know I technically didn’t ruin anything, but I did feel a little disappointed in myself. Oh well, the holidays only come once a year! 😉

Tonight, Chad and I are planning on going out for dinner and using up one of our many gift cards we got for Christmas.

I hope your Christmas was wonderful and that “real life” isn’t hitting you too hard. Lucky for me, I’ve still got five more days of break, so I plan on making the most out of them!

December 27, 2012 at 6:10 pm 3 comments

Teachers of the World Rejoice

Today is the last day of school!

Y’all, it’s the 21st of December, and we still had school today.


At least it was only a half day (We got out at 11:45). I am so so so so so so so so sooooo ready for this break! You have no idea. After our Christmas show, I wanted to hide in my bed and sleep for days. Since I couldn’t do that at the time, I’ll be taking full advantage of this next week off. SLEEEEEEP! 🙂


I’m going to back up to Wednesday night when we had our youth Christmas party.

Tacky Sweater

I love being festive! 🙂 We had about 50 youth show up, which was awesome, but pretty crowded in such a tiny space. We were at my favorite bakery down town, Yummies!

Youth Christmas Party 2012

Food included yummy sandwiches, chips, and a not pictured peanut butter parfait cupcake!


Dirty Santa was played, tears were shed over a One Direction CD… you know, typical teenager stuff. It was a great night!


Thursday morning, I went to the gym with plans for a short HIIT session on the treadmill. I found a workout I liked on Pinterest but ended up changing it a bit and creating my own HIIT workout. Check it out!

Snow-Melting Treadmill HIIT

The entire workout took me 25 minutes. I only covered a little over 2 miles, but I swear that I was sweating more during this 25 minutes than I ever have during a regular long run. It was awesome!

HIIT 12-20-12

What’s up STUFT Mamma

Last night was our church staff dinner at Dales Steakhouse. I didn’t want to be that weird person who takes pictures of her food, especially in such a dimly lit room. So I just enjoyed the night sans camera. I had a salad, steak, baked potato, and plenty of bread. 😉


This morning, I forced Chad to get out of bed and come to the gym with me. We worked shoulders and back today, which is my absolute favorite! I hate working my legs, couldn’t care less about chest, like working my arms, but LOVE working shoulders and back. I don’t know why?

Here’s what I did!

Shoulder and Back 12-21-12

I was proud of myself for using the 15lb weights for all three sets of shoulder presses. I used to only use 10lbs!

A shocking breakfast! 😉


I had to bring our home laptop to work today because the power went out at school yesterday and fried my computer. Just my luck.

Crashed Computer

I’m pretty sure that imminent failure is a bad thing…..


I’m so excited for tonight because a bunch of our friends are getting together for our annual Christmas gathering. We actually have a name for this party. We call it “Christmas in Podunk.” I know it sounds strange, but we always go to our friend Kristin’s house, and she lives out in a very… woodsy area…. an area that we would refer to as “podunk.” So, the name stuck. 🙂

I’m baking some goodies to go along with all the other deliciously bad-for-you food that we’ll be eating tonight. I can’t wait!

And now, time for another Christmas Blogging Challenge catch-up!


Yesterday was day 20: “Favorite Christmas Meal”

I would definitely say our Christmas brunch we have every year with my Dad’s family. It’s the most delicious breakfast ever!

Today is day 21: “Do You Travel On the Holidays?”

We don’t travel out of town, but holy moley do we travel all around town from family to family! Let me give you a little run down of what Christmas was like for me and Chad last year.

8:00-Open presents at my parents’ house.

11:00- Brunch with my dad’s family.

1:00-Lunch (of course we didn’t really eat) with Chad’s dad.

5:00- Dinner with my mom’s family.

It’s crazy! This year, our Christmases are much more spread out. We have lunch at my MIL’s house tomorrow. Then, we’ll have lunch at our house on Christmas eve with my FIL and a few others. Christmas day will include presents at my parents’ in the morning, brunch with my dad’s family, and dinner with my mom’s family. Still busy, but not as crazy as usual.

Time to start baking for tonight! Have a wonderful Friday!! 🙂

December 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm 4 comments


Annnnnnnnd it’s over! “How the Penguins Saved Christmas” was a huge success, and I’m so proud of every one of my kids!


I was able to find some pictures from the show on Facebook, but once again I was too busy to take any myself.


All that’s left now is getting through the rest of this week at school, and then we get a nice break for the holidays! YAY!

The fact that students keep bringing me sweet Christmas gifts keeps me coming to work with a smile on my face. 🙂

Teacher gifts 2


This morning I made it to the gym for the first time in 4 days. Yikes. Since Best Body Boot Camp is over, Chad and I tackled an arms and chest workout together. We only had about 45 minutes, so this is what we were able to fit in during our time.


Post-workout breakfast.


Lunch at work was a pretty random mix of grilled chicken, laughing cow swiss cheese, and hot sauce. An apple with pb on the side.

We basically have zero groceries and ran out of toilet paper this morning. So Chad and I hit the grocery story ASAP after school today. I also picked up a tacky sweater for our youth Christmas party tonight. Chad’s Christmas sweater is pretty ridiculous, so I’ll be sure to get a picture to share. 😉

Before I head off to our party, here’s day 19 of Jenny’s Blogging Christmas Challenge!


“Favorite Stocking Stuffer”

My favorite stocking stuffer is usually any kind of candy! But I can remember when I was in 4th grade, the only thing I wanted in my stocking was GEL PENS.


Please tell me someone remembers these?? I got a stocking full of gel pens that year and was so excited! It was the best thing I ever got in my stocking.

Have a wonderful Wednesday! FIVE DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS!! 🙂

December 19, 2012 at 6:18 pm 4 comments

The Last 5 Days

And here I am, back in the blog world again. Sorry for the disappearance, but after Friday, I didn’t feel like anyone wanted to hear about the things I ate, how many miles I ran, or what I did on the weekend. Now that I’m back, I’ve got a lot of catching up to do! Here’s a little random photo dump from the past 5 days.

week 8 c

After the last of my Best Body Boot Camp workouts. I’m going to miss them, but I’m considering signing up for the next round in January!


First trip to the new Publix in Florence.


A splurge on a greasy yet delicious dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. 🙂

family time

Random family time in the kitchen on Sunday.

Teacher gifts

The start of many gifts from my students. I got two more today. Being a teacher rocks! 😉


Last night was our first performance of our Christmas show, “How the Penguins Saved Christmas.” I was running around like mad woman before the show, but everything was amazing! I was so so proud of everyone! I’ll try to get some pictures from tonight’s show so you can see just how cut our kids are!

Before I leave to get ready for our last performance, I’ve got to catch up on Jenny’s Christmas Blogging Challenge!


Starting with day 13: “Favorite Christmas Book”

My aunt and uncle had a custom Christmas story book made that was about me. It had my name, my parents’ names, and the story was all about how I got to go with Santa to the North Pole to visit, and then he brought me back home. This book was given to me when I was very little, so I don’t remember actually getting it. But, I do vividly remember reading it A LOT. I remember thinking that the story actually happened! I thought that it was one of those things that happened when I was a baby, so I don’t actually remember it happening. I seriously spent my early childhood believing that one time I went with Santa to the North Pole! haha

Day 14: “Real or Artificial Tree?”

I’ve only ever had an artificial tree, so I can’t really pick one or the other. I’ve always liked out tree though!

Day 15: “The Best Gift You’ve Given”

I’m going to cheat on this one and say that it’s the gift Chad and I are giving our parents this year. So I can’t actually say what it is right now. But I will after Christmas! 😉

Day 16: “Hardest Person to Buy for?”

Hmmm… I think I’d say my Mom. The reason is because no matter what you give her, she will tell you she loves it. She loves any present that she gets simply because someone thought to give her something. So, it’s hard to pick out something really special when you know she’ll like anything you give. Does that make sense??

Day 17: “Post a Picture of an Old Christmas Card”

We’ve actually never done Christmas cards before, so I don’t have any to show. 😦

Day 18: “When Do You Open Gifts?”

We’ve never been the family to open any presents on Christmas Eve, so it’s always always always on Christmas morning. I actually like that tradition!

Whew! I’m finally caught up. And now I’m off to get ready for our show!

Have a great night, and if you’re local, come by the Deshler High School auditorium at 6:00 (and bring $2) to see our Christmas show!! 🙂

December 18, 2012 at 5:03 pm Leave a comment

I Was Angry

After spending the weekend reflecting on everything that’s happened, I was going to get back to my normal blogging schedule. But, I can’t write a normal post today, I just can’t. My heart hurts for the families, students, teachers, and people in the community of Newtown, CT. On Friday afternoon, I got home from a full day of rehearsing our Christmas play with two groups of about 150 kindergarten-2nd graders. I was exhausted and just wanted to relax. Then I heard about the shooting from Chad and through Twitter. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Precious, innocent children, just like the ones I was working with that day, had their lives stolen from them for no reason at all. I was confused, sad, hurt, but most of all, I was angry. I was angry at the person who did this, and even worse, I was angry that he was able to take his own life. I actually said the words “that’s not fair.” My own hatred wanted this man alive so that someone ELSE could hurt him. Of course I feel terrible for thinking something like that, but at the time, it made me so angry. Now I look back and think, this man is not the person I should be angry at. I shouldn’t hate him. For crying out loud, GOD LOVES HIM. Jesus DIED for him.

I am called to love God and love others, no matter who may fall under that category. The person I should hate is Satan. He brings every bit of evil into our world. But instead of spending my time dwelling on my hatred towards Satan, I’m running to God and hiding in His arms. I’m shouting out all my feelings and letting Him take care of everything else. If anything, this tragedy has taught me to rely on God more than ever. I’m not screaming for stricter gun control or more mental health research. I honestly believe that neither one of those can help us now. I’m crying out to the ONLY one who can save this world from what it’s becoming. I’m praying… always praying that God will save our world, that He will show me what I can do to help, and that myself and others will turn from sin which is causing our world to go up in flames. Praying is all I can think to do right now.

PLEASE pray for these victims, their families, the community of Newtown, but most importantly, this evil world that we live in.


December 17, 2012 at 9:45 pm 2 comments

12-12-12, A NOT WIAW

HEY! Happy 12-12-12!! Last triple number date until 2101!

Also, happy Wednesday! This is when I usually give you a What I Ate Wednesday post, but I haven’t really been participating in WIAW lately. I think it’s because my meals are pretty much the same all the time. Breakfast is always egg, oats, or yogurt. Lunch is always chicken or leftovers. Afternoon snacks are always protein bars. And even dinner is almost always a protein and two veggies. Take last night’s dinner for example.


Seared pork chops (in the cast iron skillet!), baked okra, and roasted green beans. It was delicious, but not very different from what I normally cook up. I’m going to have to start researching more recipes so I can spice it up in the kitchen a little. 😉

Anyway, I think I’m starting to get used to my 4:30 wake up call every morning. I was out of bed as soon as my alarm went off ready to fix some coffee before heading off to the gym. Go me! Today I did workout A from Best Body Boot Camp. It was an upper body tabata workout that had my arms feelin’ a lot like jello at the end. My favorite moves of the workout were the kettlebell halos and dumbbell scaptions. I love any move that works my shoulders!

My boring breakfast was another omelet. Shocker.


On the Christmas plate. Double shocker.

I packed leftovers from last night for lunch and added a Chobani for a little sweetness. It’s like a lunch dessert.

6-26-12 1

Old picture, obviously.

After work, what do ya know? I came home and grabbed a Quest bar!

Quest Bar Strawberry Cheesecake

This flavor isn’t my favorite, but it’s still good! Especially warmed up in the microwave.

Since it’s Wednesday, we have church tonight. I’ve said before on here that I always take my dinner to church because I get there at 5:00 and don’t leave until after choir practice around 8:30/8:45. So tonight, I’m packing a bag of frozen veggies that I can cook in the microwave and adding apple slices with a little PB2 for dipping.


Let’s talk about something interesting now, shall we?

How about today’s blog challenge.


Today is day 12 which is “Wrapping Paper or Gift Bags?”

I’m definitely going to go with wrapping paper! Gift bags are easy and all, but wrapping paper is so much prettier! And there’s nothing better than getting to tear into a present instead of neatly pulling it out of a boring bag. 😉

What do you guys thinks? Wrapping paper or gift bags??

December 12, 2012 at 5:22 pm 2 comments

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Hello, I'm Grace! I'm a 24 year old living in a small town in Alabama. I'm married and have the most amazing job teaching music to elementary students. I blog about healthy eating, exercising, running, and the random things that happen in my life. I've recently completed my second half marathon and can't wait to pursue that 26.2!

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